"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Woe is Us

The Yankees did their best Chico’s Bail Bonds impression last night, kicking the ball around, and playing themselves out of the game early, in a pathetic 8-1 loss to the Cardinals. It was such a depressing performance that I uncharacteristically found myself flipping through the channels by the middle innings because I simply couldn’t watch anymore. It’s not a matter of jumping ship, but if they aren’t going to show up, why should we?

Derek Jeter was visibly livid on the bench during the game, and Joe Torre lit into the team once again when it was over:

“It was an embarrassing game,” Torre said after emerging from yet another team meeting. “This is the worst. This one stands on its own.”

… “It’s not the pitching coach’s fault, it’s not the hitting coach’s fault,” Torre said. “It’s my fault. Ultimately it falls on me. I’m in charge of this team.”
(N.Y. Daily News)

Luis Sojo said it was the angriest he’s ever seen Torre; Bernie Williams said he’s seen him more upset, but nevertheless, Torre got his point across. Alex Rodriguez summed it up well:

“This is certainly rock bottom for this team,” he said. “Not just because we lost, but because of the fashion we lost in. It was just very embarrassing to be out there.”
(N.Y. Times)

The Yanks are saying all the right things. But talk is cheap. They need to get their collective head out of their ass on the field. At some point, you have to imagine that heads are going to roll.

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 11, 2005 7:37 am

1.  Emily came up with the headline. She couldn't decide if it should say "Woe is Them" or "Woe is Us." I liked "Woe is Us" better. We gotta watch this crud and it's not like we're getting paid to do it.

2 Hank   ~  Jun 11, 2005 9:07 am

2.  "We gotta watch this crud..."

And that's what I really don't understand. In the middle of last night's mockery I kept asking myself why I couldn't just turn off the TV. Yes, I know that fans never give up hope, but my mood for the rest of the evening definitely would've benefitted had I not suffered through the last few innings.

I think this stems from being out here on the west coast. It used to be I could only see the Yanks live once a week or so, so I would do my best to watch every pitch. Even if they were down big, I'd want to keep watching for, say, Jeter's AB in the ninth. But now with the blessing of DirecTV's Extra Innings package -- which is quickly becoming a $200 curse -- I get 80-90% of the games -- and still I watch. (Sometimes I'll even record a game.) It's an illness that not even last night's game can cure.

As for that game, at least there was a little emotion coming out of the dugout. I miss Paul O'Neil.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jun 11, 2005 9:17 am

3.  By the way, I commented on this in the post below, but wanted to repeat it here. If you look at the fact that Wang allowed walked 5 and allowed 7 runs in 4 innings it looks like he was getting killed out there, but the defense was directly responsible for five of those seven runs and three of those five walks were intentional (though one of those IBBs came after he fell behind Walker 3-0).

I'm not saying Wang pitched great, he still gave up seven hits in those four innings and threw just 54 percent strikes, but I think it would be more accurrate to say he struggled rather than he was bombed. Also, though it's sort of a break-even thing, one of those seven hits came when Giambi couldn't glove a throw from Jeter on one of his classic jump-throw-from-the-hole plays.

And yes, I did just rag on Dan Graziano from the Star-Ledger for picking on Giambi's defense on Thursday. I apologize to Mr. Graziano for that. Giambi's play in the field was directly responsible for two runs yesterday and indirectly responsible for three others. With Tino at first, there's a solid chance that Posada and Cano don't get the opportunity to make their errors (well, a passed ball and an error), that the game is merely 2-0 after three, and that Wang throws 16 or more fewer pitches in the third and settles down, as he has a habit of doing.

That's a lot of ifs, but I'm just saying, don't sour on Chien-Ming because of what happened last night.

4 Mike Z   ~  Jun 11, 2005 9:36 am

4.  I've got the feeling that RJ is going to have to bring his stuff this afternoon so he can earn Joe a ticket back to New York.

Something has to happen, and it has to happen today.

As for yesterday's game, I agree with Hank in that it is good to see some emotion. In the last game against the Brewers and last night's game the Yanks showed the most emotion I've seen from them in a while, so hopefully that is an encouraging sign.

5 Simone   ~  Jun 11, 2005 9:41 am

5.  Cliff, I'm not sour on Wang, but I can see why Joe would to be cautious with him. He is a nice bottom of the rotation pitcher who can give innings, but the fate of the Yankees should not be on his shoulders.

RJ has to come up big today with lots of strike outs. He is the Yankees only hope at this point. The pitching has step up and stop the bleeding because the offense and defense simply can't right now.

6 Dan M   ~  Jun 11, 2005 10:12 am

6.  Two words: Fox Saturday. If we're going to win Joe a ticket home, it'll probably be tomorrow.

7 tocho   ~  Jun 11, 2005 10:16 am

7.  The only positive thing from last night was that at least our captain seems as disgusted as us watching this team play. What was bothering me in the last few days was the fact that the players didn't seem to mind that they were getting their butts handed to them by the other teams.

You could see Jeter fuming, and I'm sure he was not doing it for the cameras.

8 tocho   ~  Jun 11, 2005 10:21 am

8.  Hank,

I feel your pain. I live in Mexico and of course I don't have DirecTV Extra Innings so I got MLB.TV and paid for the season. Now I can't stop watching every night, every pitch.

It it an illness (or an addiction) that even a 2 for the last 12 strech can't cure, it will probably last the whole season, even when we are mathematically eliminated... At least I will consider not getting MLB.TV for next season (although after the winter I'll most probably get it).

9 seamus   ~  Jun 11, 2005 10:24 am

9.  ok, confessional. i am totally hooked on mlb-tv. It is so great to be able to watch the games. it hasn't helped that i work loong hours so when i get home all i want to do is collapse and watch mlb-tv. Today I'm home sick from work - and baseball it will be!

10 brockdc   ~  Jun 11, 2005 11:38 am

10.  Maybe they're not just playing shitty - maybe they're a shitty team.

11 brockdc   ~  Jun 11, 2005 11:50 am

11.  I only mention this because I just watched the documentary, but this is playing out like the Enron collapse. Overvalued stock (players) and hoodwinked shareholders (the fans)

12 rbj   ~  Jun 11, 2005 12:17 pm

12.  I'd say that Wang pitched at least as well as, to pick a name at random, oh, Kevin Brown. He didn't pitch particularly well, but he had an absolutely atrocious defense behind him (the box score doesn't give Jason any errors - WTF?!) and the Cardinals are a great hitting team, even with their injuries. And Wang is a rookie. Keep him around, let him learn.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver